p.s. Gratin Recipe

We did bottle the cream ale, and I will post when we know how it turned out, and will also write soon about another fermentation project. Having tasted the beer before bottling, I am sure it will be great — I normally hate flat, pre-bottle-conditioned beer, but I thought this one was tasty even in that state. More on that soon.

In the meantime, I got an email request for the cabbage and potato gratin recipe. Here it is, adapted in method but not in flavor or concept from Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors:

What goes in:

  • 1 pound potatoes
  • 1 big napa cabbage
  • 3-4 tbsp butter
    1/4 c flour
  • about 2 c milk (I used 1% for a little creaminess, but skim would work, and whole would make it even creamier) 
  • approximately 3 tbsp finely chopped FRESH sage
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 c finely grated parmesan or other hard, nutty cheese (I used aged gouda)
  • shredded cheddar and bread crumbs to taste

What to do:

  1. Bring large pot of salted water to boil.
  2. Wash potatoes and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Add to boiling water and cook for 6 minutes, or until just barely tender. Remove to colander with slotted spoon and run under cold water to stop them from cooking more.
  3. Wash cabbage and cut into inch-wide ribbons. There will be a LOT of cabbage, enough that I boiled it in 2 batches. If you have a huge stockpot going, throw it all in. If, like me, you have a smaller pot, add half of the cabbage to the boiling water. Cook 5 minutes and remove to colander with slotted spoon. If you’ve only done half the cabbage at this point, do the rest. Run under cold water.
  4. Melt butter in a large, oven-ready skillet. Sizzle garlic and sage in the butter for a few minutes until fragrant, but not brown. Whisk in flour to make a roux and cook until golden. Slowly add milk, mixing well to avoid lumps. Cook until thick and creamy. Turn off the heat, stir in parmesan, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Gently squeeze cooked cabbage to remove excess water, and add it to the sauce, along with potatoes. Mix the potatoes and cabbage into the sauce, taking care not to break the potato slices and integrating everything as best you can. If you don’t have a big enough skillet, mix it all up in a casserole pan. 
  6. Add your favorite gratin topping. I added a thin layer of finely grated cheddar and a sprinkling of bread crumbs. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. I slid my gratin under the broiler for a couple of minutes more to make it extra golden and crispy.

In an ideal world, one would let this sit for a few minutes to set up a bit before serving. In my world, it is consumed immediately with a good bit of freshly ground black pepper, and it is delicious.

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